Classical rhetoric and the (court) interpreter’s output

Día: viernes 9 de noviembre de 13 a 14 h Lugar: Salón de Actos, Facultad de Traducción Conferenciante: Anne Reynders, KULeuven Interpretación simultánea al español por parte de alumnos del Itinerario de Interpretación Classical rhetoric and the (court) interpreter’s output On a dark evening a man stabs his former girl-friend’s new lover with a knife. The man does not die, but is severely injured. The aggressor is brought to court and accused of attempted homicide. The court is situated in Ghent, in Flanders, where the only official language is Dutch. The defendant however is French speaking and does not speak or understand Dutch. As a result, the trial is mediated by an interpreter. At a given moment the prosecutor launches a long (47’) and emotional speech. The audio recordings of the trial (and the transcriptions) show that the interpreter is often at pains to follow the prosecutor’s discourse. When the interpreter’s alterations are analyzed from the vantage point of the ancient theory of classical rhetoric, it becomes clear that the strategic persuasiveness of the prosecutor’s speech is weakened. As a result, the defendant has a biased view of the persuasive means used in his trial which ultimately led to a severe punishment. This case study attempts to illustrate that the theory of classical rhetoric is a useful methodological tool for exploring interpreter-mediated (legal) persuasive discourse.

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